Disaster & Emergency Management

Disaster & Emergency Management

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

York is the first university in Canada to offer both a bachelor and a master’s degree program in this field.

Disasters related to flooding, fires, power blackouts, hurricanes and terrorism continue to remind us of the need for good emergency management. Learn how effective risk reduction strategies  can help prevent these disasters. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Ebola epidemic and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and subsequent evacuation demonstrate the pressing need for qualified and trained professionals in the field.

Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) is the discipline of understanding, dealing with and avoiding risks. In this exciting field you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how emergency management intersects with other disciplines such as psychology and sociology. Discover strategies to help save lives and property, reduce damage and speed a community’s recovery from natural and human-induced disasters and emergencies.

You will examine a diverse range of topics including:

  • business continuity planning
  • emergency management
  • crisis communications
  • disaster risk management
  • ethics
  • terrorism

In addition to this, you will learn to apply key concepts, methodologies and technologies used by emergency management professionals to complex real-life challenges.

This program prepares you to synthesize large amounts of complex information and make sound decisions in challenging and often difficult circumstances. As a graduate you will be on the trajectory towards a career in emergency management, public safety or consultancy work for a range of opportunities from positions in federal and provincial governments to large multinational companies and non-governmental organizations like the Red Cross/Red Crescent, World Bank, Oxfam or UNICEF.

  • You have the option of continuing your education within the disaster and emergency field with York's Master of Disaster and Emergency Management degree — the only graduate program of its kind in Ontario and one of only two in Canada.
  • You'll have the opportunity to join professional organizations such as The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and disasters.
  • Take advantage of experiential learning opportunities and interact with leading professionals who will provide you with a deeper insight into the field. You will have the option to complete a field experience that will help to foster a greater understanding of the complexities and realities emergency management professionals face.
  • You are also encouraged to take advantage of the regular events held by both the undergraduate and graduate Disaster & Emergency Management Student clubs at York University, and various external disaster management associations. Events include training, conferences and symposiums held throughout the school year to help you apply your education to real-life situations.

You may also be interested in our Certificate in Emergency Management.


Contact us at goyork@yorku.ca 

Program Details

Offered by

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



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